“Yeah, well, you know, that’s just like, your opinion, man.”
– The Big Lebowski
By Lana Belber
A Fine Young Man
The story of the YouTube-fuelled discovery of a relative unknown is one that we all know well; many artists currently getting airplay are the product of a similar scenario. What we seldom hear about, however, is the YouTube success story of an independent artist.
Oddly enough, this is the case for Colin Caulfield, a new face in the independent scene who plays under the name Young Man.
Caulfield’s EP Boy has garnered enthusiasm from all ends of the blogosphere and has done so both because of and in spite of his humble, if not unusual, beginnings.
While many music buffs may have dismissed a barely-legal kid who records covers in his room under the assumption that his forum of choice is reserved for a mainstream audience, people took notice of Caulfield’s song choice. Covering Beach House, Grizzly Bear, and Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, he reached out to a different audience and latched on. Deerhunter even called his cover of “Rainwater Cassette Exchange” better than their original. Releasing his own music was the natural next step, and he did so better than most could have anticipated.
Nothing needs to be said to defend Young Man against YouTube sceptics; his music speaks for itself. It is primarily indie pop, a genre that many have grown too comfortable with. For this reason, newcomers are often overlooked. However, Caulfield has created a distinct and instantly likeable sound with his use of reverb, echoing vocals, summer riffs, and soft rhythms that turn wayward and do so flawlessly.
Boy is a concept EP written from the perspective of a young boy. The songs are upfront, accessible, and maybe even touching. “Up So Fast” and “Just A Growin’” are perfect examples of Caulfield’s clever and unconventional use of a genre that is catchy and structured by nature.
Much like the eponymous child in his EP, Caulfield has some growing to do at such an early stage in his career. However, all of the necessary ingredients are there, making his first album is one to watch for. You can (and should) stream his entire EP on his MySpace page at http://www.myspace.com/colincaulfield. He might just allow you to rediscover a genre that you thought you had long grown tired of.